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GENDER BASED VIOLENCE IN CHIMAMANDA NGOZI PURPLE HIBISCUS AND HALF OF A YELLOW SUN

GENDER BASEDVIOLENCE   IN   CHIMAMANDA   NGOZIPURPLE HIBISCUS AND HALF OF A YELLOW SUN

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the study

A report by the British council titled ‗Gender in Nigeria in 2012‘, concludes that violence against women is not a new problem in Nigeria. Rather, it is found to be deeply rooted in many cultural and traditional values which is regarded as normal behaviour or remains hidden or tacitly condoned (Nnadi, 2012; Zimmerman, 1997). Hence, violence against women is perceived as the most pervasive violation of human rights (United Nation Secretary General, 2009; Heise et al., 2002)). In 1998 The Convention on the Elimination on All Forms of Discrimination (CEDAW), raised concerns about the prevalence of violence against women and girls including domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace‖. It is also important to state that gender -based violence is practiced against everyone, but it affects mainly women and girls (Jekayinfa, 2011; USAID, 2008).

Now women across the world, no matter European or African or Asian, all are coming forward to fight for their rights and status under the umbrella term of feminism. Not only the philosophers or thinkers or writers are fighting for the women rights but today even celebrities have come forward to contribute their part in this wave of feminism. Emma Watson, a well-known Hollywood star has also come forward and she started a campaign #HeForShe campaign where she compels males to be on the side of women to fight for their rights. She is totally against the definition of feminism being anti-males. Instead she appeals to the males to come forward and help women to achieve equal rights and status. “This is the first campaign of its kind at the UN. We want to try to mobilise as many men and boys possible to be advocates for change.” Even Mitchell Obama is also a very strong figure contributing to this feminism. Her speeches are often very famous regarding women emancipation. According to Mary Wollstone Craft, women should be given equal rights and status as they are not only the ornaments or a commodity that is to be traded in the marriage but instead a very important part of the society. And her main focus was to aware women about the education so that they should be well aware of their rights.

It is not surprising therefore, that African scholars have now begun to include the concepts of sex, gender and violence in gender studies in order to understand how they play out in gender relations (Lindsay & Miescher 2003:1-3). Consequently, in the analyses of women authored work, amongst other themes, there is the need to explore gender-based violence and its portraiture in these works. This is beacause gender -based violence is a serious problem in many societies today and and a new area of investigation in literary criticism.This study therefore interrogates the depiction of gender-based violence in the Nigerian novel with reference to fiction by women in general and to Adichie‘s novels in particular and the role of gender in the propagation of violence. The study explores how the gender of a person contributes to inter /intra-gender violence in the selected novels.

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